The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) will build the first model community power plant in Chiang Mai’s Mae Chaem district, the agency’s deputy governor for strategy Patana Sangsriroujana said.
He added that Mae Chaem district had good potential as a location because it has plenty of raw materials to feed the plant. The district has up to 100,000 rai devoted to corn plantations, which can yield 45,000 tonnes of corn cobs and corn husk per year, as well as a similar amount in corn trunks.
The district also has 50,000 rai of rice farms, which can yield tonnes of rice husks and straw daily.
Patana said the one-megawatt power plant will cost Bt100 million to build and should offer returns of 8 to 10 per cent, adding that Egat was currently looking for a suitable site.
Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong also visited the district recently to check on its potential as the site of the first community power plant.
According to the ministry’s model, Egat, the community and the private sector will hold shares in the plant. The community will hold 10 to 30 per cent, and while a private firm will invest in the plant, the community will pay dividends gained from the power generation back to the company.
Apart from earning from the sale of electricity, the community will also earn from selling corn cobs to the plant. As per a study by Egat, the cobs can be sold at Bt500 to Bt700 per tonne or between 50 and 70 satang per kilogram.
The minister has assigned Egat to coordinate with the community to create a “social contract” for seeking raw materials for the plant. Egat will then draw up the plan for the ministry and the Cabinet’s consideration. Once approved, all related parties will have the go-ahead to kick off the project.
Once the “social contract” is made, the construction of the plant is expected to take 10 months. The ministry is expected to complete final details by November and announce how it will purchase power from the plant later.
Sontirat said the ministry is targeting sites in 30 provinces for similar plants.
Source: ThaiVisa & The Nation